(INDIANAPOLIS) - State Sen. Brent Steele's proposal to strengthen animal cruelty laws passed the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters today by a 5-4 vote.
Steele (R-Bedford) said Senate Bill 11 would increase the penalty from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony for attending an animal fight in Indiana, punishable by a sentence of up to three years in prison.
"Animal fighting is not a victimless crime - dogs and other pets are often killed," Steele said. "This legislation is intended to cut off spectatorship for animal fights in our state. We need to toughen our laws to deter those who will often not only watch but also pay to watch this illegal and shameful activity."
Steele said discouraging people from getting involved is the best way to address the problem of animal fighting in Indiana. He added that surrounding states - including Illinois, Michigan and Ohio - already have similar laws on the books.
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